Where Ted Cruz’s marathon speech stands in history

Updated at 12:27 p.m.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) spoke on the Senate floor for 21 hours and 19 minutes on Tuesday and Wednesday, leaving him neck-and-neck with some of the longest filibusters ever.

While there remains disagreement about whether Cruz's speech qualifies as a filibuster, Cruz in the end spoke for longer than all but three official filibusters.

Here's a quick tip sheet counting down the longest filibusters in history and the time Cruz passed each of them:

9. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) (2013): 12 hours, 52 minutes -- against CIA director nominee John Brennan

Cruz surpassed Paul at 3:34 a.m.

8. Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) (1964): 14:13 -- against the 1964 civil rights act 

Cruz surpassed Byrd at 4:55 a.m.

7. Sen. Alfonse D’Amato (R-N.Y.) (1992): 15:14 -- against a tax bill

Cruz surpassed D'Amato at 5:56 a.m.

6. Sen. Huey Long (D-La.) (1935): 15:30 -- to require Senate confirmation for New Deal employees

Cruz surpassed Long at 6:12 a.m.

5. Sen. William Proxmire (D-Wis.) (1981): 16:12 -- against a debt ceiling increase

Cruz surpassed Proxmire at 6:54 a.m.

4. Sen. Robert La Follette (R-Wis.) (1908): 18:23 -- against a currency bill

Cruz surpassed La Follette at 9:05 a.m.

3. Sen. Wayne Morse (I-Ore.) (1953): 22:26 -- against the Tidelands Oil bill

Cruz would have needed to speak until 1:08 p.m. to surpass Morse.

2. D’Amato (1986): 23:30 -- against a military spending bill

Cruz would have needed to speak until 2:12: p.m. to surpass D'Amato.

1. Sen. Strom Thurmond (D-S.C.) (1957): 24:18 -- against the 1957 civil rights bill

Cruz would have needed to speak until 2:59 p.m. to surpass Thurmond.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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